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Infinite Jest [Kindle Edition]

David Foster Wallace
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
Kindle Price: £8.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Somewhere in the not-so-distant future the residents of Ennet House, a Boston halfway house for recovering addicts, and students at the nearby Enfield Tennis Academy are ensnared in the search for the master copy of INFINITE JEST, a movie said to be so dangerously entertaining its viewers become entranced and expire in a state of catatonic bliss . . .

'Wallace's exuberance and intellectual impishness are a delight, and he has deep things to say about the hollowness of contemporary American pleasure . . . sentences and whole pages are marvels of cosmic concentration . . . Wallace is a superb comedian of culture'

James Wood, GUARDIAN

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A writer of virtuostic talents who can seemingly do anything (NEW YORK TIMES)

Wallace is a superb comedian of culture . . . his exuberance and intellectual impishness are a delight (James Woods, GUARDIAN)

He induces the kind of laughter which, when read in bed with a sleeping partner, wakes said sleeping partner up . . . He's damn good (Nicholas Lezard, GUARDIAN)

One of the best books about addiction and recovery to appear in recent memory. (SUNDAY TIMES)


A writer of virtuostic talents who can seemingly do anything (NEW YORK TIMES )

Wallace is a superb comedian of culture . . . his exuberance and intellectual impishness are a delight (James Woods, GUARDIAN )

He induces the kind of laughter which, when read in bed with a sleeping partner, wakes said sleeping partner up . . . He's damn good (Nicholas Lezard, GUARDIAN )

One of the best books about addiction and recovery to appear in recent memory. (SUNDAY TIMES )

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2149 KB
  • Print Length: 1092 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316921173
  • Publisher: Abacus; New edition edition (14 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349108773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349108773
  • ASIN: B004TSKKE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,569 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

David Foster Wallace wrote the acclaimed novels Infinite Jest and The Broom of the System and the story collections Oblivion, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and Girl With Curious Hair. His nonfiction includes the essay collections Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and the full-length work Everything and More. He died in 2008.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous 26 May 1999
By A Customer
The proverbial Book-That-All-The-Fuss-Is-About in America, Infinite Jest hasn't made a big splash in England for some reason. Set in the near-future, the story zips back and forth between a dope-addicted teenage lexical genius in a Tennis academy in the suburbs of Boston, a recovering demerol addict at a half-way house down the road, a gang of murderous Quebec separatist terrorists in wheel chairs, and a film that is so addictively entertaining that once you've been exposed to it you lose all will to do anything else in life except watch it again and again until you die. You also get the experialist evil of ONANism (referring here to the Organization of North American Nations), the death of the TV industry at the hand of tongue-scraper ads, giant feral rats in New England, hyper-obsequious mothers, filmakers killing themselves by putting their heads in a microwave and a girl so devastatingly beautiful she's forced to wear a veil at all times. What's not to like?
But never fear: beneath all the whimsical plot-digressions and flippant deployment of words you don't understand, DFW has a big heart, and IJ never degenerates into the standard I'm-so-postmodern-I-can-just-sneer-and-not-care posture that makes so much contemporary prose detestable.
If the book has a theme, it's the broad sense...not just to various drugs but also to entertainment, to sport, to sex, to nationalism. The neat thing is that the book itself is addictive...although it's not a plot-driven page turner in any traditional sense, once you get into it it's hard to put down.
You should know the book is very very long, has 200+ pages worth of bizarre footnotes, 3 dozen subplots, and a whole lot of generally fascinating characters. The pace can be sloooooooow, but you won't mind.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I Have Read, Ever. 24 Mar. 2013
By Twig
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this because a couple of people who had reviewed John Jeremiah Sullivan's excellent collection of articles, Pulphead, also liked Infinite Jest. It arrived, and I discovered I'd ordered a brick rather than a book. Bit daunting I thought. 1000+ pages, footnotes,tiny point size. I left it on the shelf for a couple of months. Like I say, daunted. Then I picked it up. By page 13 I was hooked.

That was four months ago. I finished it yesterday and, having been immersed in the skewed but horribly recognisable world of David Foster Wallace for so long, I feel bereft.

It's one of those novels that is part of a long tradition of fiction that includes Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, then travelled down the centuries to include Joyce's Ullyses, Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow... If you're looking for a beginning, a middle and an end, you won't find it here.

What you will find is one of the most explosively imaginative novels ever written. It's funny. Political. Satirical. Years are sponsored by big business. The President is a schmaltzy crooner. The US has taken over vast areas of Mexico and Canada to form the Organization of North American Nations. ONAN. Haha! It's prescient. Waste dumping has lead to swathes of the local population being born with no skulls and multi-eyed. It's wise. '... you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it.' '... logical validity is not a guarantee of truth.' 'Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.' And on and on and on. I kept stopping to go over things I'd read. Musings. Throwaway ideas. And the descriptions, always so singular; always just right. 'His heart sounded like a shoe in the Ennet House basement's dryer.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like wading through champagne jelly 12 Sept. 2006
Cor! I would like to tell you that this book is all the things that these other reviewers say it is - amazing, brilliant, flabergasting etc. Well, it is. However, after pushing through David Foster Wallace's interminable digressions and massively complex clauses, sub clauses, sub sub clauses etc, the brilliance could be said to have been dulled somewhat. Nevertheless, It's still a top-notch piece of boundary-pushing fiction, a brain-pulsingly engaging read, and a mad piece of food for thought. It would've got five stars if I could have persuaded any of my friends to read it too. Those slackers!

Read it. It'll do your brain good.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It beat me 20 May 2012
By Marie
I'm sorry to say I abandoned this part-way through. Don't be mad at me! I feel like I've given it a pretty good shot. I've stuck with it through almost 600 pages, through sickness and health, over approximately 4 months. I've neglected some of my very favourite handbags because this hefty tome just won't fit inside. It almost pains me to give up after investing so much time in it, but the fact is there are still 400-odd pages left to go and I just have no motivation to pick it up any more!

So you've read the official blurb. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately this fatally entertaining movie was referred to on approximately three occasions in the 60% of the story I finished. The narrative is more concerned with the daily lives and family histories of the drug addicts and tennis students mentioned above. It is chock full of lively characters who are all illustrated perfectly down to the last detail, and even minor players are incredibly engaging with likeable flaws.

There have been times when I've absolutely LOVED reading this - particularly the passages about the Ennet House residents and the Narcotics Anonymous meetings. I can honestly say that some of these chapters were 5 star quality for me, despite the fact that I chose not to continue reading the book in the end. They ring very true to life (from my own experience working in similar environments) and I wonder whether David Foster Wallace has drawn on any personal experiences when writing these bits. However, the book is also interspersed with pages and pages of dry, excruciating detail about really mundane events. Some of the other reviews I've read have suggested that the monotony is kind of 'the point', and that it should prompt the reader to ask questions about the nature of entertainment etc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars funny. One of the most important novels of recent ...
Virtuosic epic about the sadness of modern culture, by way of tennis, drugs, AA, Canadian separatism, depression, Boston, and Hamlet. Read more
Published 17 days ago by "rrronaldo"
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Sorta changed my life.
Published 23 days ago by Dude Meister
5.0 out of 5 stars Also happens to be a wonderfully brilliant read
Posted exactly as described [1].

1: Also happens to be a wonderfully brilliant read.
Published 26 days ago by Jonathan Walfisz
3.0 out of 5 stars Digging for a storyline
This is a huge mess of a book! It reads like a really intelligent maniac wrote it, page after page of rolling prose skewing in hundreds of directions, splintered you could say, as... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alex Zp
5.0 out of 5 stars Finite Haversack.
Warning: may result in loss of bag space.
Published 1 month ago by Ben
2.0 out of 5 stars Fun with Teeth
Do not expect a funny book: the title is that of a short film made by a minor character. Any of his other films could equally have been adopted as a title: "Accomplice! Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. TURNER
1.0 out of 5 stars Turgid
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, is one of the few books that has defeated me. I acquired it in the days before my TBR pile became a mountain having noted its recurring... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Zeudy Tigre
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone
There are much more rewarding and enjoyable ways to have chaos imparted to you than this cerebrally smug stream of consciousness. Read more
Published 2 months ago by A man without gorm
3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Read
I can honestly say I'm not sure what to make of this book. It's a well written 3 strand book. One strand focuses on Hal Incandenza, his family, and associates at the Enfield Tennis... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jamie Bowen
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much, I quit.
I'm one of those who didn't finish this.

I was drawn to this by the author's quote from a speech he gave to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College:... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rev Lovejoy
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